THE BLOG
08/16/2011 01:50 pm ET | Updated Oct 16, 2011

A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Video in Your Promotion

You hear it all the time: video sells. But often we find ourselves with a nice little YouTube channel and one video, at a loss for how to create additional content or what might be compelling. If this describes you, or if you haven't even started doing video for the same reason, then let's look at some creative ways to get yourself and your message on video!

Creating professional content:

First off, don't make creating video too complicated. Just about every phone or device has a video camera on it, and while I don't recommend using phones as a long-term video recording device, it's handy to have with you when you're doing videos on the fly. To get started though, get yourself a small video camera. I used to love the Flip cameras until they discontinued making them, but Kodak has some great devices, and if you have an iPad2 and haven't experimented with the video on it yet, you might want to try it, it's really fantastic.

Setting: Experiment with some different settings and lighting. I used to do a lot of videos in my kitchen because the natural lighting was so good there. You can see a few of them here. It's a pretty basic system, but it worked really well. You can, of course, film videos outside too. This works well for most settings. As I said, experiment with different settings until you find one you like.

Editing: You'll need to edit your videos, but trust me on this one, it's not hard at all. I got the Roxio software which includes an editing suite, it's fantastic and I love it. Very easy to edit, add titles, etc. to the video.

Length: I generally recommend no more than two minutes for any video unless it's educational. Studies show that interest really starts to drop off once you hit the minute and a half mark, so keep it short and sweet!

YouTube Channel: I highly encourage you to get one channel that's branded to you. Don't just upload your videos to various sites.

Now, let's look at some fun and creative things you can do with video!

Case Studies: This is a fun way to talk your consumer through some of the fantastic stuff you've done. You can do this with the person involved (if the case study is about the individual), or you can just talk through the case study and show examples as warranted.

Behind the scenes: People love behind the scenes. For our upcoming AME retreat we're planning to film portions of our meetings so we can share the "nuts and bolts" of PR with our viewers. If you're doing a lot of research for your book, or going to special places to do research, this is a great opportunity to do behind the scenes video. Or maybe you're working with your cover person on a cover design, try to get this on film too. The "insider" process is often intriguing to consumers.

Training: Training videos are great and often very helpful; in fact, I do a lot of these. It's the majority of videos we film. Training videos can be about anything at all.

Client/Reader responses:
Can you get a reader to talk about your book on camera? I always take a camera to an event, it's a great opportunity to capture input and feedback from readers and clients.

Interviews:
It's great when you can get an interview with someone in your field, even better if you can capture it on video. If you're going to an event, always take a video camera with you. Often times you can get an interview right there on the spot which will make it easy.

Video doesn't have to be challenging or a burden to create. It can be a quick and simple way to get the word out there about you, your book or product and, it's a great way to drive traffic to your website. We love our YouTube channel, and we know you'll love yours too!

Want to see our channel? Click here!

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